RT-223 Additional comments
This is in addition to my other review of the RT-223.
I'll mention some things that I forgot about.
User patterns = over 400. YAY!!!!!!!!
I really like this. Note that you can erase the pre-programmed patterns and replace them with your own if you want. A master reset of the machine will return everything to the stock configuration.
Song Position Pointer:
I think this is what it's called. Remember that sync clock skipping issue in my other review?
Well, this makes it a little easier to work with in my application. (If you are syncing this machine live, you are still out of luck.) You can start your Master device at any point in the song, and the RT-223 somehow knows where to go and starts at the right location.
Strangely, unless I missed it, this feature is not highlighted or pointed out anywhere in the documentation.
Song composing, copying and deleting patterns/measures/steps in the song:
In a song, you can set a start and stop point of patterns/measures/steps that you want to copy, then select a point to copy them to. In other words, you can copy a group of patterns/measures/steps.
However, you CANNOT delete a group of patterns/measures/steps. You can only delete them one at a time. This is a minor inconvenience, but I thought that I'd mention it.
Back up of patterns/songs to an external device:
There isn't a way. You're on your own to figure out your own methods for doing it.
To be fair, most drum machines I've seen also don't have this, and it is a great mystery why.
The Alesis SR-16 (and maybe SR-18) are the only ones that I know of that have a data dump. And I should mention that the old discontinued Zoom RT-323 has a dump/store feature to an external SD card.
Pads light up when playing in pattern mode, but NOT in song mode:
I can't figure out who thought that this was good idea or why. It sure would have been nice if the pads always were lit up as the sounds are produced.
Strangely, my old Zoom RT-123 doesn't have this issue (the pads light up no matter which mode you're in). When you're playing a song, you can always see what sounds are being hit/produced as they happen. This makes it easier to edit things later.
When in song mode, if you hit one of the pads it doesn't sound.
Instead, it goes to some other mode of operation. Another, at least for me, bizarre design decision.
On my old RT-123, if I have a song playing, and there is a section where I want to add handclaps (for example), I can just hit the pad while the song is playing. I don't need to create another pattern like the one being used, and add handclaps to it. Not so with the RT-223.
In short, IMO, Zoom must have had the “B” team working on the design of the RT-223.
Or they must have not been aiming this at people who want to replace a real drummer with a realistic simulation.